CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WV Information) — Harrison County commissioners have mentioned they don’t help a invoice that might require them to log off on choices of the native board of well being.
Senate Invoice 12 would require county commissions and different appointing entities to approve any rule handed native boards of well being inside 30 days; approval can be required earlier than the rule may very well be applied. The rule may solely go into impact inside the jurisdiction of the appointing entity that approves it.
The invoice additionally would allow county commissions and different appointing companies to take away a member of the board of well being for trigger, would require well being departments to put discover within the state register and its web site when adopting, promulgating or amending a rule, and would require native well being departments to adjust to insurance policies developed the state well being officer throughout public well being emergencies.
In Harrison County, the County Fee and Clarksburg Metropolis Council every appoint three members to the board of well being, which governs the Harrison-Clarksburg Well being Division. Due to this fact, each the Fee and Clarksburg Metropolis Council would vote on board of well being guidelines.
The fee on Wednesday requested county employees to direct a letter to the county’s delegation within the Legislature stating the fee isn’t in favor of the laws.
“It was indicated in Charleston that Harrison County is in favor of that laws,” mentioned County Administrator Willie Parker. “I don’t know the place that got here from.”
All three commissioners mentioned they haven’t expressed help for the invoice.
“I don’t need that,” mentioned Commissioner Patsy Trecost, who can also be one of many county’s appointees to the Harrison County Board of Well being.
The board of well being has knowledgeable members with numerous medical backgrounds who’re a part of the health-care business, he mentioned.
“It’s extra necessary they make the selections on well being wants all through the county,” Trecost mentioned.
Clarksburg Metropolis Council has not mentioned the invoice and has not taken an official place, based on Mayor Ryan Kennedy.
Talking for himself solely and never council as a complete, Kennedy mentioned he helps it.
“I do favor it. I don’t know concerning the majority of the council,” he mentioned. “Personally, I like the truth that it’s making unaccountable bureaucrats accountable to somebody who must be elected the individuals of the county or the town.”
Totally different variations of the invoice handed the Home and Senate final week, so the invoice will head again to the Senate. Senators can approve amendments made the Home, or they start the method of figuring out the variations.
Senate Well being and Human Sources Committee Chair Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, mentioned the invoice is in response to “at instances egregious, unbridled encroachments upon companies’ and other people’s rights” within the state.
“This invoice didn’t spontaneously combust. This invoice took place as a result of there was a bunch of points akin to that that was delivered to the Legislature’s consideration,” Maroney mentioned.
Republicans argued that the invoice would offer residents a larger voice within the decision-making course of making certain the selections of unelected boards of well being are authorised elected representatives accountable to the individuals.
Home Well being and Human Sources Committee Chair Jeffrey Pack, R-Raleigh, known as the invoice “inherently democratic.”
Democrats, nonetheless, argued that the invoice takes public well being decision-making meant to avoid wasting lives away from specialists and topics the method to political strain.
Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, mentioned the invoice quantities to “taking public well being out of the palms of specialists and giving it to individuals like me, county commissioners. The strain is great. It’s not a little bit little bit of strain on county commissions. The strain is great to do what the loud few need to do, whether or not it’s to permit smoking in eating places or another quite a few well being points. The strain falls upon the elected officers to not make the very best determination for the general public well being of the county, however to make the very best determination for his or her political future.”
Romano beforehand served as a commissioner in Harrison County.
“Haven’t we seen what’s occurred after we put public well being within the palms of individuals with political futures?” he requested. “We’ve 500,000 lifeless on this nation due to the haphazard patchwork of strategies addressing the pandemic, as a result of each state had its personal technique, each state had its personal politician in cost, each state had its personal political future in danger.”
The Senate handed its model of Senate Invoice 12 on a 21-13 vote Tuesday, with two Republicans becoming a member of all Democrats to vote in opposition to the measure. District 12 senators had been break up on the choice, with Sen. Patrick Martin, R-Lewis, voting in favor, and Romano in opposition to.
The Home model of the invoice handed Friday a large margin of 63-33, regardless of 10 Republicans becoming a member of with all Democrats to vote nay. 4 Republicans had been absent.
All Harrison County delegates voted in favor of the invoice, apart from Del. Clay Riley, R-Harrison, who was absent.